By Cristina Vázquez
Everything except standing by in the face of a regime that has legitimized racism, misogyny and xenophobia in the United States. Siri Hustvedt, 2019 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, the highest award in literature, is a great activist for the progressive vote in the electoral process in her native country.
A decisive activist in favor of the survival of American democracy, the novelist and essayist founded the Writers Against Trump movement to prevent the republican’s reelection in a second term of government on November 3.
To date, almost 1,900 intellectuals have joined the call that Siri made alongside her husband, famous writer Paul Auster, to promote the anti-Trump vote, whose presidency, they consider, is «racist, destructive, incompetent, corrupt and fascist.» and for that reason they have given their language, thought and time to his defeat.
Under the conviction that writers have a deep understanding that words change the course of history, Writers Against Trump groups not only American citizens, but also those who live in other countries, some ruled by totalitarianism, because they are concerned that the US abandon its commitment to democratic ideals by privileging plutocracy.
Voting for Trump, Siri believes, means denying recognition to the Others (black people, women, immigrants, LGBTTTIQ people) as part of American culture and society, as recognized in an interview with journalist Patricio Zunini on September 27, 2020 .
Not all soloists, companies or artistic groups can speak openly against Trump, as Siri has done when taking part, for example, in mass protests, perhaps because they would put the funding they receive for their projects at risk because they come from conservative backers.
BIPOC creators, as the black, indigenous and people of color are called by its acronym, have chosen to promote the vote, since abstentionism tends to favor Republicans, mainly the abstentionism of Latinos, whose support is vital to define the candidate who will reach the White House. With 32 million voters, Latinos make up the largest minority group to participate in an American election, according to The New York Times.
These artists and cultural institutions, while highlighting the values of inclusion and equality, also encourage early voting on Election Day, for example through the postal service, which from my point of view operates safely and efficiently In addition to being an important option for the military and citizens who live outside the United States to exercise this democratic right.
Early voting by mail began in mid-September 2020 in some states of the American Union, because each one is governed by its own rules in the electoral process. As of the close of this column, more than 50 million voters had already voted through the mail or in places where they can vote for either Trump or his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, according to the count carried out by the University of Florida.
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (American Department of Arts and Culture), an organization founded by civil society that encourages creativity and social imagination in favor of a culture of empathy, equity and belonging, was a sponsor on October 23 of a concert , along 2,000 miles of the border between Mexico and the United States, to promote the Latino vote among young people and stop the controversial construction of the wall, an electoral promise that Trump made in 2016.
«Rock The border, Stop The Wall» brought together more than 30 musicians, activists and artists from border states such as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in a free event that lasted about four hours and was broadcast on Facebook and the site of The No Border Wall Coalition website, Laredo, 10 days before the general elections in the United States, under the awareness that Latino youth increasingly have a crucial voice in political decisions in this country.
Due to the probability that on November 3 it will not be known which presidential candidate won the election, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture plans actions to confront this environment of uncertainty and ensure that democracy remains in place.
And it is that Trump has declared on several occasions that there will be electoral fraud, especially with regard to voting by mail, and has incited his followers to demonstrate en masse if the polls give victory to his rival.
The Writers Against Trump collective also aims to protect the elections from any possible theft and prepare through mobilizations in the event of post-election problems. This is how the cultural community unites to keep the population attached to civility and to keep it «stronger and more powerful than the intolerance and hatred that could be expressed in the streets.»
Cristina Vázquez, director of Contenidos Artísticos Production and Diffusion, is a cultural manager, programmer and producer. One of her main purposes is to promote the circulation of the Performing Arts.
Mexican, from the city of León, she graduated from the Communication Sciences career and continued her training as a cultural manager with studies from the National Council for Culture and the Arts and in 17, the Institute of Critical Studies, where she obtained the Cultural Management Certificate from the Critical Entrepreneurship.
Cristina Vázquez has the strong conviction that going to meet new viewers, both in Mexico and in the United States and other countries, contributes to fighting stereotypes, opening new communication channels and forming communities.
Her quest is to create lasting relationships between audiences, artists and institutions. The expansion of audiences, she thinks, generates knowledge and understanding among the inhabitants of this global village.
In 2012 she founded Contenidos Artísticos, a firm dedicated to the programming, production and dissemination of artistic and cultural projects, based in Mexico, which is complemented, since 2015, with Contenidos Artísticos INC, based in Chicago, Illinois.
With the multidisciplinary collaboration of important allies, Cristina Vázquez advised the Municipality of Zacatecas in the elaboration of its Cultural Development Plan and coordinated the National Book Fair (Fenal) from 2006 to 2009. Since 2016, she has been collaborating permanently with the Cultural Institute of León in various programming and production projects.
She was a programmer at the Teatro del Bicentenario in León, has worked with the Teatro Juárez in Guanajuato and developed and operated the urban meeting “Todo sobre Ruelas” in Zacatecas.
In addition, in 2012 and 2013 she produced and programmed the José Alfredo Jiménez International Festival, which pays tribute to the great Mexican icon and singer-songwriter, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato.
Since 2013 she works for the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL). She has produced and coordinated important projects with the Mexican National Ballet Company having as headquarters the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Juárez Theater, during the Cervantino Festival, as well as with the National Opera Company and the National Theater Coordination. In 2019, she began a collaboration with the National Center for the Arts (CENART) by producing the International Black and White Piano Festival.
In 2018, she made alliances with agencies in the United States for the circulation of the performing arts in Mexico. This is how she presented Fuse, a group based in Italy, with its multimedia performance Dökk and the Colombian company Sankofa Danzafro with its acclaimed show La ciudad de los otros.
Through Contenidos Artísticos INC, the production agency, for the past five years she has focused on bicultural work between Mexico and the United States. Her work has been to find spaces for Mexican artists to present themselves on the other side of the border, while contributing to the construction of an image of Mexican culture and art that transcends the folkloric.
In 2017 she introduced the Mexican poet Rojo Córdoba, who worked with Spoken Word groups, in Chicago. And the following year she promoted three Mexican bands: Troker, electronic jazz; Doble Redoble, contemporary cumbia, and Sonido Gallo Negro, a psychedelic cumbia group for which she organized a tour in the United States. This in conjunction with various Latino festivals and organizations in Chicago, such as the Mole de Mayo Festival. Thanks to these alliances, she has produced tours for artists from Chicago and other cities in the United States in Mexico.
During November 2018, she invited Mexican programmers to see, both in Chicago and New York, the work of Manual Cinema, a multidisciplinary company that combines cinematographic techniques with shadow theater, sound and music to create immersive experiences.
She co-produces the Tania Pérez-Salas Company since 2018. During 2019 she worked on the organization of their tour through Mexico, the United States and Canada, which would take place in the following year.
As of January 20, 2020, Vázquez is the first Mexican woman to be part of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professionals for the Performing Arts (APAP), which emerged in 1957 in the United States and is a world leader in this cultural field. One of their main tasks is to participate and promote REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) policies.
The great pragmatism and permanent professionalism of Cristina Vázquez has allowed her to contribute to the artistic and cultural development of Mexico and its international projection.
Versión en español
Cristina Vázquez, directora de Contenidos Artísticos Producción y Difusión, es gestora cultural, programadora y productora. Uno de sus propósitos principales es fomentar la interculturalidad a través de la circulación de las artes.
Concibe la interculturalidad como el encuentro, la interacción y reconstrucción de las distintas culturas locales. En palabras del experto argentino Carlos Moneta, permite comparar formas de vida y establecer comunicaciones portadoras de imágenes, valores y contenidos que afectan las identidades más allá de la nacionalidad.
En 2012 fundó Contenidos Artísticos, firma dedicada a la programación, producción y difusión de proyectos artísticos y culturales, con sede en México, que se complementa, desde 2015, con Contenidos Artísticos INC, con sede en Chicago, Illinois.
A través de Contenidos Artísticos INC, la agencia productora, se ha enfocado desde hace un lustro en el trabajo bicultural entre México y Estados Unidos. Su labor ha sido la de buscar espacios para que los artistas mexicanos se presenten del otro lado de la frontera, aportando a la vez la construcción de una imagen de la cultura y el arte mexicano que trasciende lo folclórico.
Esa apertura de espacios permite visualizar, en ambos países, que las artes escénicas son una herramienta indispensable para construir un intercambio artístico de calidad permanente y atender a la diversidad de públicos.
Originaria de León, Guanajuato, Vázquez es egresada de la carrera de Ciencias de la Comunicación y
continuó su formación como gestora cultural con 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos.
El gran pragmatismo y la permanente profesionalización de Cristina Vázquez le han permitido coadyuvar
al desarrollo artístico y cultural de México y su proyección a nivel internacional.
A partir del 20 de enero de 2020, Vázquez es la primera mujer mexicana en formar parte del Consejo Directivo de la Asociación de Profesionales de las Artes Escénicas (APAP por sus siglas en inglés), surgida en 1957 en Estados Unidos y líder a nivel mundial en este ámbito cultural.
Recientemente organizó la gira de la Compañía Tania Pérez-Salas por México, Estados Unidos y Canadá, pero debido a la pandemia derivada del coronavirus el grupo de danza contemporánea únicamente alcanzó a dar un par de funciones, el 13 y 14 de marzo, en el Teatro Juárez de Guanajuato con el apoyo de EFIDANZA.